Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook

Reformists have always implied, over the years, that their attempts at shrinking the raw exercise of power by the State is, in effect, a bloodlessly legal coup d’état. Naomi Wolf once warned that George W. Bush had staged a coup d’état on October 1st of 2008 in order to prevent the elections that year from occurring; not only that, but she also told the Free Staters during last year’s New Hampshire Liberty Forum, an idea to the effect of, “We need the State, we need to become the State.” The time has come to address the substance of what a coup d’état requires, and more importantly, whether it meshes with the twin libertarian maxims of the non-aggression principle and the self-ownership axiom, for the sake of ends-means consistency.

 

 

Strategic goals must be elucidated in order to understand conceptually what a coup d’état means. Luttwak first distinguishes between revolutions, civil wars, pronunciamentos, and putschs, and then he provides an actual definition:

 

“A coup consists of the infiltration of a small but critical segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder.”

 

Ah, what a unique choice of words, isn’t it? So, a facet of the government seizes control over other elements of the State by centralizing power unto itself; isn’t this what the United States Congress did back in 1946 with their creation of the Administrative Agencies as the fourth branch of government? Luttwak elaborates:

 

“If a coup does not make use of the masses, or of warfare, what instrument of power will enable it to seize control of the state? The short answer is that the power will come from the state itself. The long answer makes up the bulk of this book.”

 

Okay, I fail to see how reformists of any stripe could expect anyone to take them seriously with their claim that, somehow, by working inside the system in order to change it from within, is in any way a bloodless coup d’état! Not only that, but if Luttwak is correct, then the fact that the State is the only actor that can pull off a coup d’état, I think, settles the question in my mind as to whether reformism is an expression of a coup d’état, particularly considering whom the “liberty activists” are, in this context.

Constitutionally, both the federal and Texas governments appear to have outlawed coups. The clauses and their citations are as follows:

  • “The Congress shall have Power…To provide calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.” – Insurrection Clause (Art. I § 8 cl. 15)
  • “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attained.” – Treason Clause (Art. III § 3)
  • “Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, or adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort; and no person shall be convicted of treason except on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.” (Art. I § 22)
  • “He [the Governor] shall be Commander-in-Chief of the military forces of the State, except when they are called into actual service of the United States. He shall have power to call forth the militia to execute the laws of the State, to suppress insurrections, and to repel invasions.” (Art. IV § 7)

Other than the difference between whom has the constitutionally delegated power to call forth the militia, both constitutions take a firm stand against insurrections, and I would assume that coup d’états would be included. Whenever reformist polemics loudly declare that they are “openly conspiring” to perform a bloodless coup, not only are such actions illegal, they’re outright unconstitutional! If these reformists advocate for a restoration of constitutional government, then what exactly are they restoring if they are intent on committing treason and insurrection against these United States?

Luttwak analyzes different political factions, and their importance to the conspirators of a coup d’état. One such analysis, I think, is worth mentioning, simply because it reinforces what I wrote three years ago about how Muslims are being scapegoated in order to justify the never-ending “terror war.” As Luttwak describes Islam:

 

“The political sterility of Islam in recent times has meant that, though, it has been used by governments to propagate their political initiatives, Islam per se has acted only when a direct attack has been made on religious orthodoxy. Consequently, unless our coup has a definite anti-Islamic coloring, religious leaders in Muslim countries will not initiate any action against us. We must therefore prevent our opponents’ imposing such a coloring on our coup.”

 

Perhaps the constitutionalist patriot faction could learn a thing or two from Luttwak here, instead of trying to counter-productively antagonize the Muslims every damn chance they get. Luttwak goes on to say that:

 

“Islam, which as the comprehensive nature of a religion, a political system, and a civilization, is still (though much decayed) a major political force and its leaders play a recognized political role…[t]he structures of Islam as an organized religion are fossilized; the fluid and dynamic aspect of the movement in its early days has been replaced by a dogmatic and extremely conservative set of beliefs, whose inflexibility is one of the causes of the present travail of the Arab world.”

 

Maybe if the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services chose to specifically exclude Islamists for this reason alone, then the backlash against them by American patriots wouldn’t have occurred, but hey, without government, who would forcibly balkanize the domestic population against itself?

Coup d’états require allegiance from the military. By contrast, guerrilla warfare literature has variously stressed the importance of popular nationalist support, as well as the political training of irregular combatants, besides the desirability for guerrillas to become ascetic social reformers. Similarly, underground resistance is about as antithetical to a coup d’état as you can get, mainly because it’s a reactionary pushback against the State by decentralized elements of the country.

During the execution of a coup, Luttwak stresses that the most important tasks the conspirators must do thoroughly is to sabotage the means of communication and transportation for loyalist forces. This could entail removing a few sections of rail lines or dunking radio equipment into buckets of water. Luttwak says about communication that:

 

“Our objective is not merely to control but also to monopolize the flow of information, and we must therefore deal with every single facility. This would be difficult (and would also lead to a dispersal of our forces) if we tried to seize and hold every single facility. Our strategy will therefore be to seize and hold just one facility, the one most closely associated with the voice of authority, while neutralizing the others.”

 

Notice the use of the words “monopolize” and “authority” in this quoted paragraph. This is an example of where a violent takeover of government by government is inherently authoritarian. Nothing good could ever come from this folly.

Let me take a moment or so to debunk some misconceptions. A coup d’état is not monkey-wrenching, precisely because the latter is a war of attrition, whereas the former is an immediate sudden change. Despite their polemic rhetoric, the unfree “Free State” Project and the anti-libertarian “Libertarian” Party have portrayed themselves over the years as legally acceptable coups, yet, as I hope I’ve already demonstrated, these reformist organizations are anything but coups; if anything, actual coups must be conducted in utmost secrecy in light their very unconstitutionality as well as the severe punishments for the conspirators in case of failure or if they are captured.

Edward Luttwak’s Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook is an enlightening look into an artificial contrivance by the State in destabilizing civilization as we know it. Coup d’états are an inherently statist phenomenon, and therefore, are intrinsically at odds with both libertarian principles and the economic means of making money. In other words, the military would be used to seize control of the civil government, so in that sense Naomi Wolf appeared initially plausible in her assertion back in 2008 that Bush, Jr. staged a coup d’état, yet, where she erred was in overestimating the threat, mainly because she, like most of the patriots, do not know how to do any sort of risk analysis or threat assessments rationally.

Sound strategy rests on the rational synergy between ends and means, and perfect strategy would produce a victory that would be virtually bloodless; however, does this mean that executing a coup d’état is primed as perfect strategy? Not if you are a libertarian, so, if anything, this would encourage us to use the indirect approach. Never forget that strength and training without discipline is useless, and I can say for certain that reformists have no discipline whatsoever.

Posted in Literature Reviews | 2 Comments

Running for Public Office Does Not Work: Why “Infiltrating the State” is Foolish

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People feel indescribably trapped by this horrendous system that grinds us down, and it does so primarily by its very irrationality. Despite all the rhetoric you may hear about the practicality of elections, this is little else than badly constructed sophistry whose purpose is to suck American dissidents right back into the coercive government structure by increasing their opportunity costs. Failure to objectively judge the dangers inherent within the political means of making money reinforces the hapless citizenry’s Stockholm Syndrome with the State.

 

 

All anyone has to do, in order to determine the efficacy of trying to “infiltrate the State” with the explicit goal of either shrinking or abolishing it, is to discover how many elections have been won and how many laws have been repealed by those who claim to value individual liberty. Remember, all Hitchens’ razor demands is that the claim maker substantiate their claims with evidence; it is not incumbent on any critics, logically, to provide evidence debunking the claims in question (which would be attempting to prove a negative). Unfortunately for those who advocate running for public office as a viable technique for securing liberty, I have seen no evidence supporting their baseless assertions.

History is valuable because it reminds the future about the mistakes of the past, in the hope that they can learn a lesson or two from them. The 2004 “Libertarian” Party (LP) presidential debate between Gary Nolan, Michael Badnarick (the author of Good to be King), and Aaron Russo, while certainly entertaining, did not result in any electoral wins. Despite having ballot access in 49 of the several states, Badnarick, as the LP’s presidential nominee, still failed to win the U.S. Presidency, ultimately receiving 0.32% of the popular vote, and more importantly, none from the Electoral College (whose votes are required by the 1787 federal Constitution for the presidency).

Christopher Cantwell ran against Tim Bishop for his seat in the House of Representatives for New York’s first congressional district, back in 2010. Cantwell was joined by his campaign manager, Gary Donoyan, for an interview with Joseph Dobrian for the December 10th, 2009 broadcast of Hardfire, which is the only time I’ve ever seen Cantwell wear a suit and tie. His first venture into standup comedy took place at the LibertyFest NYC on September 10th of 2011, where he was introduced as a former aspiring politician; needless to say, Cantwell failed to beat Bishop.

Ron Paul ran three presidential campaigns, first in 1988, then 2008, and finally in 2012. As the LP nominee in ’88, Dr. Paul had ballot access in 46 of the several states and he received 0.47% of the popular vote; twenty years later in ’08, Dr. Paul failed to gain the GOP nomination, mainly because he only managed to get 1 – 2% of the delegates to pledge to him, and due to the shenanigans of the GOP at Tampa three years ago, Dr. Paul only got 8.31% of the vote for the party’s nomination. The receipts for these campaigns came out thusly:

  • 1988: $2,000,000
  • 2008: $28,100,000
  • 2012: $40,947,039

Despite both the financial and opportunity costs incurred by Ron Paul’s supporters, academics like Walter Block stubbornly insist on the political means of making money as being somehow viable to the cause of liberty. As Dr. Block said on The Lew Rockwell Show, episode 296, broadcasted on July 27th of 2012:

 

“How do we expect to win? The only way we can expect to win and bring about a libertarian society is to have a lot of libertarians. And how do you get a lot of libertarians? Well, the vehicle of the political process. I think Ron Paul has empirically demonstrated this, so, I don’t want to jettison the political process because we can use it as a means, as a vehicle, as Ron Paul has shown, to promote liberty, even though the thing itself is rotten to the core, as you [Lew Rockwell] point out.”

 

If Dr. Block means that running for public office is useful as a vehicle for raising campaign contributions, then I most certainly agree with him on that one, for as Penny Freemen told Adam Kokesh a month earlier, Dr. Paul’s portfolio has definitely grown, because of his presidential campaigns. Interestingly enough, Dr. Paul himself had something to say about the efficacy of his time in public office during his farewell address to Congress:

 

“In many ways, according to conventional wisdom, my off-and-on career in Congress, from 1976 to 2012, accomplished very little. No named legislation, no named federal buildings or highways — thank goodness. In spite of my efforts, the government has grown exponentially, taxes remain excessive, and the prolific increase of incomprehensible regulations continues. Wars are constant and pursued without Congressional declaration, deficits rise to the sky, poverty is rampant and dependency on the federal government is now worse than any time in our history… I have come to one firm conviction after these many years of trying to figure out ‘the plain truth of things.’ The best chance for achieving peace and prosperity, for the maximum number of people world-wide, is to pursue the cause of LIBERTY.” [emphasis added]

 

Right there, Dr. Paul is directly contradicting what Dr. Block had said just four months earlier. How can infiltrating the State by winning elections and repealing laws be effective in securing liberty if your top champion explicitly stated just how much of a failure he was doing just that over the course of 36 years?

Some people have asserted, time and again, that it doesn’t matter whether running for office actually works to promote the cause of liberty, because it’s their “right” to run such campaigns in the first place. Constitutionally speaking, the federal one is silent on this, although it does mention the eligibility for the presidency in Art. II § 1 cl. 5, as well as for representatives and senators in Art. I § 2 cl. 2 & Art. I § 3 cl. 3, respectively; therefore, the 10th Amendment takes effect. Similarly, the 1876 Texas Constitution appears equally silent on the alleged “right” to run for office, at most stating which public offices are constitutionally established, and at times mentioning the length a citizen may hold such offices. Honestly, the only constitution I am aware of that enumerates a “right” to run for office is, quite literally, the 1972 Socialist Constitution of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Article 66 says:

 

“All citizens who have reached the age of 17 have the right to elect and to be elected, irrespective of sex, race, occupation, length of residence, property status, education, party affiliation, political views or religion. Citizens serving in the armed forces also have the right to elect and to be elected. A person who has been disenfranchised by a Court decision and a person legally certified insane do not have the right to elect or to be elected.”

 

If that sounds good to you, you might want to first watch PBS’ Frontline broadcast on January 14th of 2014 in order to gain some perspective.

Given that running for public office might as well be just another government program, then what are the rules imposed by the State? Limiting ourselves to only Texas provides a wealth of information, courtesy of both the Texas Secretary of State’s Qualifications for Office webpage and the Texas Election Code, which I will overview briefly now. Texas Election Code § 141.001 says that a candidate must be a United States citizen, 18 years old or older, have resided in Texas for a year, to not have been legally determined to be either partially or totally mentally incapacitated, and to satisfy any other eligibility requirements prescribed by law for the office being sought.

But wait, there’s more! Election Code § 141.031 says that the candidate must apply for a place on the ballot, essentially making what appears to be an affidavit, and § 141.035 says that the application and “an accompanying petition” is public information immediately upon filing. Independent (that is, nonpartisan) candidates are required by § 142.002 to make a declaration of intent to run, § 142.004 says that in addition to the application from § 141.031, an independent candidate must also file a petition to satisfy § 141.062.

Probably the simplest location for discovering what is required of candidates is to look at the Independent Candidates and Write-In Candidates webpages, courtesy of the Texas Secretary of State. If you are running as an independent candidate for a district, county or precinct office, then for your petition you must collect 500 signatures or 5% of the total vote, whichever is lesser, pursuant to § 142.007. For write-in candidates, they must collect a somewhat similar proportion of signatures, unless they prefer to pay a filing fee in lieu of getting signatures, which could range anywhere from $375 – $3,750, depending upon office being sought and population of a given electorate, pursuant to §§ 146.023(b), 146.0232, & 172.025; of course, this is different for a candidate in a primary where the filing fee ranges from $300 – $1,500 depending on the office, pursuant to § 172.024.

American patriots, I suspect, are not going to seriously plow through all the legal jargon in order to understand how to get their militiamen elected as county sheriffs just in time for the 2016 elections next year. All that the Texas Constitution has to say about county sheriffs is that they are elected every 4 years (Art. V § 23), they double as tax collectors in counties under a population of 10,000 (Art. XVI § 61), they receive free medical services paid for by the Texas government (Art. III § 52e), and, like all other elected and appointed officials, sheriffs take an oath not only to the Texas Constitution, but also the federal one as well (Art. XVI § 1).

I guess that explains why the Texas government left KC Massey to rot in solitary, despite the conflict of laws. So much for “oath-keeping” and “constitutional sheriffs,” especially considering the fake drone attack retreat during last year’s Bundy Affair, despite the ridiculous excuses offered later. To paraphrase Matthew 6:24, you can’t serve two masters, but that didn’t bother the speakers none at the Come & Take It! rally in San Antonio, back on October 19th of 2013.

Should you feel baffled, at this point, as to the sheer irrational complexity of running for public office, you are certainly not alone. Naomi Wolf mentioned in her book, Give Me Liberty, about how her socially democratic populist expectations were just crushed by the sheer weight of bureaucracy:

 

“I had told the young woman in Wisconsin to run for city council. Now I needed to see if I knew how to run myself and if I could help other people run. But I found that not only was usable information about democracy disappearing, so were the entry points to citizen leadership. I accumulated a stack of research materials from all the main resources a citizen would plausibly turn to if he or she wanted to run for office: state and city government, governors’ offices, Congress, county sources, and so on. I kept having a bizarre intellectual experience… [t]here is no way to know how to get one of those seats for yourself if you are a citizen – no way to compete fairly with the donors, cronies, members of special interests, lovers, business colleagues, or other people filling the seats that an American citizen should have free and fair and equal access to.”

 

She went on to complain that there are no idiot-proof tutorials about how to become an elected ruler. Ironically, she discovered how enlisting in the federal U.S. Army was amazingly user-friendly:

 

“When I had knocked on the door to this avenue of my possible public service, I found that the entry point could not have been clearer, better guided, or better designed to help me through the process…[i]n parting, I received several gifts. I received a number of illustrated brochures… I received a free DVD… I also got a coffee mug.”

 

Wolf presumes that democractic governments should go out of their way to lower the barriers to entry for citizens to directly contest the seats of incumbents. She fails to understand that this is exactly how the system is designed to work. Because the State is intrinsically a violently (anti-propertarian) coercive monopoly, it establishes barriers to entry in order to entrench those who imagine themselves to be our rulers upon their hallucinatory thrones. To paraphrase John Rockefeller, competition is sinful.

What are the contemporary attitudes of running for public office? Free Keene’s Ian Bernard is very much in favor of other people running for local (that is, municipal or county) offices, such as when he praised Tim O’Flaherty’s electoral win in Manchester’s Ward 5 as an oxymoronic anarchist politician. By contrast, Liberate RVA, from what I can tell, has been staunchly against popular electoral voting, which implies seeking political office as well. In 2007, Stefan Molyneux argued why infiltrating the State is foolish:

 

“Why don’t you join the Mafia, and turn them around? Turn them into the United Way, turn them into a nice group, or at least, get them to give up significant portions of their business. Join the Mafia, get them to give up half their gambling control, half their control of the prostitution rings, get them to give up half of their shakedowns, and half of their drug trade. Or a third. Or 10%! You can do that, and you will learn enormously valuable lessons about how to actually go about changing an institution, which everybody still considers moral and which has a huge and massive army. [*chuckles*] Do you see why it looks a little funny, I mean seriously, do you see why it looks a little bit funny for people to say, as one guy did, ‘Oh no, you see, Ron Paul, he’s going to make the world better and safer by closing down all the army bases, ending the war in Iraq, and bringing the military home.’ If you know how to control and minimize the biggest army the world has ever seen, then surely, infiltrating the Mafia and turning it around should be nothing to you. It should be a weekend’s work.”

 

Molyneux described earlier in his vlog that the ability to infiltrate any organization and then turn it completely against its own membership has not been demonstrated to be feasible by reformists. If the LP’s aspiring politicians do not possess the ability to infiltrate the KKK and turn it into the NAACP, then why would anyone assume they can infiltrate the State in order to turn it against itself by abolishing, or at least, shrinking it? I think the empirical record, as well as Molyneux’s cogent reasoning debunking this nonsense, should put to rest this silly advocacy that says dissidents should run for office.

Reformists who advocate for “liberty-minded candidates” to run for office willfully ignore electoral history, and they know even less about the law. If Fred Rodell was correct in saying that the law is a racket, then that slogan automatically debunks the viability of infiltrating the State by running for office by itself, simply because the only good reason for dissidents to become politicians is to repeal as many laws as humanly possible. If nobody showed up to vote, would there still be an election? If so, then the problem here is that those running for office are inherently relying on voter turnout in order to infiltrate the State.

Political processes don’t matter in the final equation, despite the empty bleating from reformists like Naomi Wolf and Walter Block. What does matter is enforcement. If the legislature passed a bill into law, and the police don’t enforce it, then what relevance does it have to your life in any real practical way?

In terms of “getting the message out,” political parties and running for office are, in fact, terribly ineffective ways to go about do so. Much better alternatives are educational organizations, such as the International Society for Individual Liberty and the Foundation for Economic Education. Vloggers such as Stefan Molyneux and Eric English, both of whom started their respective channels in August of 2006, have gotten over 58 million and 5 million total videos views, respectively. Since reformists themselves frequently use the alternative media for their own publicity, all I’m asking for, from them, is to have a minimum degree of ends-means consistency, particularly in light of the fact that they are not totally adverse to the economic means of making money.

Truth be told, I wouldn’t be surprised if the advocates of running for public office only did so because they honestly don’t know what else to do that would be more effective in terms of securing their liberties. Maybe if they were to cultivate a sense of patience, they would begin to understand the wisdom inherent in role-playing police interrogations, celebrating freedom holidays, and reclaiming unclaimed property. Until such time they give up working within the system, reformists will simply spin around endlessly in circles with no solutions, no real options, and no foreseeable way off the carousel of carnivores.

Posted in Dissident Methodology | 4 Comments

Electoral Insanity, 1980 – 2012

Today’s meme, courtesy of Anarchei.me, is a reminder to everyone that popular electoral voting is quite impractical, despite what its ideologues might spew.

Posted in Memetic Warfare | 1 Comment

Marriage “Legally” Defined

The following definitions for “marriage” are taken from Ballantine’s Law Dictionary (3rd edition), Bouvier’s Law Dictionary (6th edition), Black’s Law Dictionary (2nd edition), and Webster’s Dictionary (1828):

 

 

(Ballantine’s)

An institution; the foundation of the family and of society [35 Am J1st Mar § 8]. The status or relation of a man and a woman legally united as husband and wife [Baker v. State, 86 Neb 775, 126 NW 300]. A personal relation arising out of a civil contract to which the consent of the parties is essential. The voluntary union of one man and one woman as husband and wife, to the exclusion of all others, for the discharge to each other and to the community, of the duties legally incumbent on those whose association is founded on the distinction of sex. The act of being married [35 Am J1st Mar § 4].

 

(Bouvier’s)

  1. A contract made in due form of law, by which a free man and a free woman reciprocally engage to live with each other during their joint lives, in the union which ought to exist between husband and wife. By the terms freeman and freewoman in this definition are meant, not only that they are free and not slaves, but also that they clear of all bars to a lawful marriage [Dig. 23, 2, 1; Ayl. Parer. 359; Stait, Inst. tit. 4, s. 1; Shelford on Mar. and Div. c.1, s.1].
  2. To make a valid marriage, the parties must be willing to contract, able to contract, and have actually contracted.
  3. They must be willing to contract. Those persons, therefore, who have no legal capacity in point of intellect, to make a contract, cannot legally marry, as idiots, lunatics, and infant; males under the age of fourteen, and females under the age of twelve, and when minors over those ages marry, they must have the consent of their parents or guardians.
  4. There is no will when the person is mistaken in the party whom he intended to marry; as, if Peter intending to marry Maria, through error or mistake of person, in fact marries Eliza; but an error in the fortune, as if a man married a woman whom he believes to be rich, and he finds her to be poor; or in the quality, as if he marry a woman whom he took to be chaste, and whom he finds of an opposite character, this does not invalidate the marriage, because in these cases the rror is only of some quality or accident, and not in the person [Poynt. On Marr. And Div. ch. 9].
  5. When the marriage is obtained by force or fraud, it is clear that there is no consent; it is, therefore, void ab initio, and may be treated by every court in which its validity may incidentally be called into question [2 Kent, Com. 66; Shelf. on Marr. and Div. 199; 2 Haff. Cons. R. 246; 5 Paige, 43].
  6. Generally, all persons who are of sound mind, and have arrived to years of maturity, are able to contract marriages. To this general rule, however, there are many exceptions, among which the following may be enumerated.
  7. The previous marriage of the party to another person who is still living.
  8. Consanguinity, or affinity between the parties within the prohibited degree. It seems that persons in the descending or ascending line, however remote from each other, cannot lawfully marry; such marriages are against nature; but when we come to consider collaterals, it is not so easy to fix the forbidden degrees, by clear and established principles [Vaugh. 206; S. C. 2 Vent. 9]. In several of the United States, marriages within the limited degrees are made void by statute [2 Kent, Com. 79; Vide Poynt. on Marr. and Div. ch. 7].
  9. Impotency, (q.v.) which must have existed at the time of the marriage, and be incurable [2 Phill. Rep. 10; 2 Hagg. Rep. 832].
  10. By statutory provision in Pennsylvania, when a person is convicted of adultery with another person, or is divorced from her husband, or his wife, he or she cannot afterwards marry the partner of his or her guilt. This provision is copied from the civil law [Poth. Contr. De Mariage, part 3, c. 3, art. 7]. And the same provision exist in the French civil code [art. 298. See 1 Toill. N. 555].
  11. The parties must not only be willing and able, but must have actually contracted in due form of law.
  12. The common law requires no particular ceremony to the valid celebration of marriage. The consent of the parties is all that is necessary, and as marriage is said to be a contract jure gentium, that consent is all that is needful by natural or public law. If the contract be made per verba de presenti, or if made per verba de futuro, and followed by consummation, it amounts to a valid marriage, and which the parties cannot dissolve, if otherwise competent; it is not necessary that a clergyman should be present to give validity to a marriage; the consent of the parties may be declared before a magistrate, or simple before witnesses; or subsequently confessed or acknowledged, or the marriage may even be inferred from continual cohabitation, and reputation as husband and wife, except in cases of civil actions for adultery, or public persecutions for bigamy [1 Silk. 119; 4 Burr. 2057; Dougl. 171; Burr. Settl. Cas. 509; 1 Dow, 148; 2 Dow, 482; 4 John 2; 18 John R. 346; 6 Binn, 405; 1 Penn. R. 452; 2 Watts, R. 9]. But a promise to marry at a future time, cannot, by any process of law, be converted into a marriage, though the breach of such promise will be the foundation of an action for damages.
  13. In some of the states, statutory regulations have been made on this subject. In Maine and Massachusetts, the marriage must be made in the presence, and with the assent of a magistrate, or a stated or ordained minister of the gospel [7 Mass. Rep. 48; 2 Greenl. Rep. 102]. The statute of Connecticut on this subject, requires the marriage to be celebrated by a clergyman or magistrate, and requires the previous publication of the intention of marriage, and the consent of parents; in inflicts a penalty on those who disobey its regulations. The marriage, however, would probably be considered valid, although the regulations of the statutes had not been observed [Reeve’s Dom. Rel. 196, 200, 290]. The rule in Pennsylvania is, that the marriage is valid, although the directions of the statute have not been observed [2 Watts, Rep.9; 1 How. S.C. R. 219]. The same rule probably obtains in New Jersey [2 Halsted, 138; New Hampshire; 2 N.H. Rep. 268; and Kentucky. 3 Marsh. R. 370]. In Louisiana, a license must be obtained from the parish judge of the parish in which at least one of the parties is domiciliated, and the marriage must be celebrated before a priest or minister of a religious sect, or an authorized justice of the peace; it must be celebrated in the presence of three witnesses of full age, and an act must be made of the celebration, signed by the person who celebrated the marriage, by the parties and the witnesses [Code, art. 101 to 107]. The 89th article of the Code declares, that such marriages only are recognized by law, as are contracted and solemnized according to the rules which it prescribes. But the Code does not declare null a marriage not preceded by a license, and not evidenced by an act signed by a certain number of witnesses and the parties, nor does it make such an act exclusive evidence of the marriage. The laws relating to forms and ceremonies are directory to those who are authorized to celebrate marriage [6 L. R. 470].
  14. A marriage made in a foreign country, if good there, would, in general, be held good in this country, unless when it would work injustice, or be contra bonos mores, or be repugnant to the settled principles and policy of our laws [Story, Confl. Of Laws, 87; Shelf. on M & D 140; 1 Bland. 188; 2 Bland. 485; 3 John. Ch. R. 190; 8 Ala R. 48].
  15. Marriage is a contract intended in its origin to endure till the death of one of the contracting parties. It is dissolved by death or divorce.
  16. In some cases, as in prosecutions for bigamy, by the common law, an actual marriage must be proved in order to convict the accused [See 6 Conn. R. 446; this rule is much qualified, see BIGAMY].
  17. But for many purposes it may be proved by circumstances; for example, cohabitation; acknowledgement by the parties themselves that they were married; their reception as such by their friends and relations; their correspondence, on being casually separated, addressing each other as man and wife [2 Bl. R. 899]; declaring, deliberately, that the marriage took place in a foreign country [2 Moo. & R. 503]; describing their children, in parish registers of baptism, as their legitimate offspring [2 Str. 1073; 8 Ves. 417]; or when the parties pass for husband and wife by common reputation [1 Bl. R. 639; S.C. 4 Burr. 2057; Dougl. 174; Cowp. 594; 3 Swans. R. 4000; 8 S. & r. 159; 2 Hayw. R. 3; 1 Taylor, R. 121; 1 H. & McH. 152; 2 N. & McC 114; 5 Day, r. 290; 4 R. & M. 507; 9 Mass. R. 414; 4 John 52; 18 John 346]. After their death, the presumption is generally conclusive [Cowp. 591; 6 T.R. 330].
  18. The civil effects of marriage are the following: it confirms all matrimonial agreements between the parties.
  19. It vests in the husband all the personal property of the wife, that which is in possession absolutely, and choses in action, upon the condition that he shall reduce them to possession; it also vests in the husband right to manage the real estate of the wife, and enjoy the profits arising from it during their joint lives, and after her death, an estate by the curtesy when a child has been born. It vests in the wife after the husband’s death, an estate in dower in the husband’s lands, and a right to a certain part of his personal estate, when he dies intestate. In some state, the wife now retains her separate property by statute.
  20. It creates the civil affinity which each contracts towards the relations of the other.
  21. It gives the husband marital authority over the person of his wife.
  22. The wife acquires thereby the name of her husband, as they are considered as but one, of which he is the head; erunt duo in carne una.
  23. In general, the wife follows the condition of her husband.
  24. The wife, on her marriage, loses her domicil and gains that of her husband.
  25. One of the effects of marriage is to give paternal power over the issue.
  26. The children acquire the domicil of their father.
  27. It gives to the children who are the fruits of the marriage, the rights of kindred not only with the father and mother, but all their kin.
  28. It makes all the issue legitimate [Vide, generally: 1 Bl. Com. 433; 15 Vin. Ab. 252; Bac. Ab. H.t.; Com. Dig. Baron and Feme, B; Id. Appx. B.t.; 2 Sell. Pr. 194; Ayl. Parergon, 359; 1 Bro. Civ. Law, 94; Rutherf. Inst. 162; 2 Supp. To Bes. jr. 334; Roper on Husband & Wife; Poynter on Marriage and Divorce; Merl. Répert. H.t.; Pothier, Traité due Contrat de Marriage; Toullier, h.t.; Chit. Pract. Index, h.t.; Dane’s Ab. Index, h.t.; Burge on the Confl. of Laws, Index, h.t.; Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.].

 

 (Black’s)

Marriage, as distinguished from the agreement to marry and from the act of becoming married, is the civil status of one man and one woman united in law for life, for the discharge to each other and the community of the duties legally incumbent on those who association is founded on the distinction of sex [1 Bish. Mar. & Div § 3; and see State v. Fry, 4 Mo. 126; Mott v. Mott, 82 Cal. 413, 22 Pac. 1140; Reynolds v. U.S., 98 U.S. 165, 25 L. Ed. 244; Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190, 8 Sup. Ct. 723, 31 L. Ed. 654; Wade v. Kalbfleisch, 58 N.Y. 284, 17 Am. Rep. 250; State v. Bittick, 103 Mo. 183, 15 S.W. 325, 11 L.R.A. 587; 23 Am. St. Rep. 869; Allen v. Allen, 73 Conn. 54, 46 Atl. 242, 49 L.R.A. 142, 84 Am. St. Rep. 135].

A contract, according to the form prescribed by law, by which a man and a woman, capable of entering into such contract, mutually engage with each other to live their whole lives together in the state of union which ought to exist between a husband and wife [Shelf. Mar. & Div. 1]

  • Marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract, to which the consent of parties capable of making it is necessary. Consent alone will not constitute marriage; it must be followed by a solemnization, or by a mutual assumption of martial rights, duties, or obligations [Civil Code Cal. § 55].
  • Marriage is the union of one man and one woman, “so long as they both shall live,” to the exclusion of all others, by an obligation which during that time, the parties cannot of their own volition and act dissolve, but which can be dissolved only by authority of the state [Roche v. Washington, 19 Ind. 53, 81 Am. Dec. 376].

The word also signifies the act, ceremony, or formal proceeding by which persons take each other for husband and wife.

In old English law, marriage is used in the sense of “maritagium,” (q.v.) or the feudal right enjoyed by the lord or guardian in chivalry of disposing of his ward in marriage.

  • Avail of marriage: see that title
  • Commonlaw marriage: see COMMON LAW
  • Jactitation of marriage: see JACTIATION
  • Marriage articles: articles of agreement between parties contemplating marriage, intended as preliminary to a formal marriage settlement, to be drawn after marriage [Ath. Mar. Sett. 92].
  • Marriage brokage: the act by which a third person, for a consideration, negotiates a marriage, between a man and woman. The money paid for such services is also known by this name [Hellen v. Anderson, 83 Ill. App. 509; White v. Equitable Nuptial Ben. Union, 76 Ala. 251, 52 Am. Rep. 325].
  • Marriage ceremony: the form, religious or civil, for the solemnization of a marriage.
  • Marriage consideration: the consideration furnished by an intended marriage of two persons. It is the highest consideration known to the law.
  • Marriage license: a license or permission granted by public authority to persons who tended to intermarry. By statute in some jurisdictions, it is made an essential prerequisite to the lawful solemnization of the marriage.
  • Marriagenotice book: a book kept, in England, by the registrar, in which applications for and issue of registrar’s licenses to marry are recorded.
  • Marriage portion: dowry; a sum of money or other property which is given to or settled on a woman on her marriage [In re Croft, 162 Mass. 22, 37 N.E. 784].
  • Marriage promise: betrothal; engagement to intermarry with another [Perry v. Orr, 35 N.J. Law 296].
  • Marriage settlement: a written agreement in the nature of a conveyance, called a “settlement,” which is made in contemplation of a proposed marriage and in consideration thereof, either by the parties about to intermarry, or one of them, or by a parent or relation on their behalf, by which the title to certain property is settled, e. fixed or limited to a prescribed course of succession; the object being, usually, to provide for the wife and children. Thus, the estate might be limited to the husband and issue, or to the wife and issue, or to husband and wife for their joint lives, remainder to the survivor for life, remainder to the survivor for life, remainder over to the issue, or otherwise. Such settlements may also be made after marriage, in which case they are called “post-nuptial.”
  • Mixed marriage: a marriage between persons of different nationalities; or, more particularly, between persons of different racial origin; as between a white person and a negro or an Indian.
  • Morganatic marriage: the lawful and inseparable conjunction of a man, of noble or illustrious birth, with a woman of inferior station, upon condition that neither the wife nor her children shall partake of the titles, arms, or dignity of the husband, or succeed to his inheritance, but be contended with a certain allowed rank assigned to them by the morganatic contract. But since these restrictions relate only to the rank of the parties and succession to property, without affecting the nature of a matrimonial engagement, it must be considered as a just marriage. The marriage ceremony was regularly perform; the union was indissoluble; the children legitimate [Wharton].
  • Plural marriage: in general, any bigamous or polygamous union, but particularly, a second or subsequent marriage of a man who already has one wife living, under the system of polygamy as practiced by Mormons [see Freil v. Wood, 1 Utah, 165].
  • Scotch marriage: a marriage contracted without any formal solemnization or religious ceremony, by the mere mutual agreement of the parties per verba de praesenti in the presence of witnesses, recognized as valid by the Scottish law.

 

(Webster’s)

MAR’RIAGE, n. [L. mas, maris]

The act of uniting a man and woman for life; wedlock; the legal union of a man and woman for life. Marriage is a contract both civil and religious, by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separate them. Marriage was instituted by God himself for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic felicity, and for securing the maintenance and education of children.

  • Marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled, Heb. 13
  1. A feast made on the occasion of a marriage.
  • The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king, who made a marriage for his son, Matt. 22
  1. In a scriptural sense, the union between Christ and his church by the covenant of grace, Rev. 19
Posted in "Legally" Defined Words | Leave a comment

Give Me Liberty?

Ideologues receive preferential treatment from the alternative media. No matter how many times they take their audiences for a ride in endless circles, these misinformation pundits reap the benefits of satisfying their catharsis through endlessly whining about the latest government atrocity during this week’s news cycle. Anyone who dares to recommend a strategy or two is, more often than not, vilified as if they were a demagogue, especially if their proposal turned out to not work the one time it was tried; whereas, the reformists, as creatures of this system, are bestowed with an unearned credibility by the ignorantly gullible.

 

 

Picking up right were she left off at The End of America, Naomi Wolf attempts to philosophize about what the Founders intended American liberty to be, in order to provide a vision for what she (and others she interviewed) recommend be done to restore constitutional government. As she says in the introduction:

 

“I wrote this handbook with the faith that if Americans take personal ownership of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, they can push back any darkness. The first two sections of this refresher guide to our liberties recall what America is supposed to be; the last third is a practical how-to for citizen leadership for a new American Revolution.”

 

So, what insight does Wolf have to offer us in terms of what classically liberal republicanism actually entails? She answers by saying:

 

“The stories I read and reread of the ‘spirit of 1776’ led me with new faith to these conclusions: We are not to wait for others to lead. You and I are meant to take back the founders’ mandate, and you and I are meant to lead. You and I must protest, you and I must confront our representatives, you and I must run for office, you and I must write the op-eds, you and I must take over the battle.”

 

Ah-ha! So, Wolf would like me and everyone else to believe that the Founders were a bunch of reformists. I don’t know about her, but last time I checked, the philosophy of liberty seldom requires “must,” yet frequently allows “may,” when it comes to practical human action; not only that, but I get a very strong feeling that does not want the rest of us to emulate the bravery of Mother Batherick. Now consider the next two quotes, also from her introduction:

 

“We have to rise up in self-defense and legitimate rebellion. We need more drastic action than e-mails to Congress. We need the next revolution.”

“Rather, it [the Declaration of Independence] is saying something darker and more personally demanding: you have a sacred obligation to take the most serious possible steps and undergo the most serious kinds of personal risks in defense of this freedom that is your natural right; and you must rise up against those who seek to subdue you – wherever and whenever they appear.”

 

By the term “revolution,” does she mean shooting cops? Because if she did, then, oh boy, according to statist propaganda, you can’t do that, because that’s illegal! All chuckling aside though, her rhetoric does beg the question regarding use of force issues and the ethical permissibility of the non-aggression principle, doesn’t it?

What I did appreciate about Wolf’s sequel was all of the bureaucratic red tape she endured when attempting to make her “constitutional” reformism happen. As she described all of the government literature about running for office as being indicative of both phony democracy and fake patriotism:

 

“Indeed, the materials seemed designed to make you conclude that democracy was just too complicated for ordinary people to take charge of. I felt as if I were in a scene in a thriller in which a character has to search under great pressure for a missing clue: I rifled page after page of printouts looking for what was not there. Finally, staring at my stack of yellow file folders – containing source after U.S. government source that left out the key action step that would let citizens actually enter the process and throw their weight around and make a difference – I faced a bitter conclusion. They don’t want us weighing in, let alone driving the process.”

 

If the rulers had genuinely wanted the citizenry to have a seat at the table of power, they wouldn’t act the way they do with flagrantly breaking the law in broad daylight, or condescendingly treating a petition for a redress of grievances as a mere advocacy letter. Wolf sums up political disenfranchisement rather eloquently by stating:

 

“Weren’t we supposed to tug our forelocks to no one? But it was hell on earth trying to find material that addressed us as the rightful leaders of the nation ourselves. Even Congress’s own websites don’t explain upcoming bills in clear English, don’t offer you enough advance notice of the agenda to affect the outcome, and don’t show how many citizens (who would be willing to have the information reported) contacted Congresspeople for or against various legislation. So you are left to be alerted, if you’re luckily, by some random organization, and you send your e-mail blindly, alone, as if dropping into the ocean. It is an engineered experience of powerlessness.”

 

I will applaud Wolf for being forthright about her experience in trying to wade through the bureaucratic Kafkaesque nightmare that is the administrative agencies. Unfortunately, instead of learning that perhaps contemporary representative democracy just ain’t worth “saving,” she chooses to persist in her error; might this be due to her fear of direct action?

Curtis Ellis, a “realistic” radical in the tradition of Saul Alinksy, offered the following authoritarian gem when interviewed by Wolf about what he would say to the Millennials if he could:

 

“I would say – I would want to say – the truth is that he’s being used. I would want to say, ‘The people in control don’t want you to vote. You’re a sucker – congratulations.”

 

Remember, this is from the same jerk who wants compulsory voting! As to why he would insist that Millenials are being manipulated, he said:

 

“It serves the moneyed interests and the political elite that have been bought and paid for by the moneyed interests. Their mantra is ‘Government shouldn’t spend your money, you should, so I’ll give you a tax cut.’ The message is brilliant because on a meta-level it encourages people not to participate.”

 

Wow, what willful ignorance; he should publicly apologize to everyone for his quoted remark here once he’s read a copy of A Law Unto Itself, yet, I won’t be holding my breath anytime soon, either. Unfortunately, his statism gets much, much worse:

 

“But who is the government? It’s supposed to be us. It’s us. We are the government. It didn’t come from Mars. It’s not the British crown. We’re a democracy.”

 

What tripe is this? Didn’t Larken Rose and Chris Cantwell debunk this lie just a few years ago? At the risk of sounding like a Christian, the Devil is the father of lies precisely because he can exploit half-truths to his advantage; for instance, although Ellis is certainly accurate that a Millennial is definitely being manipulated, it’s a bald-faced lie to say that “the people in control don’t want [him] to vote,” because they absolutely do! Popular electoral voting legitimizes the State, and if there ever was a devil, the State is it! Ellis also suggests:

 

“Start an affinity group: Democracy Commandos. Call it something. Meet every month or couple of months. Register everyone – even twenty people – and show the list to the Congressperson’s district office. That makes you a power broker.”

 

Oh, really? Last time I checked, grassroots lobbying doesn’t work, so why should I waste a moment of my time doing so? Worst of all, Ellis wants to increase the number of registered voters, as if that does anything; does he assume someone like me has acted contrary to the intentions of the Framers by cancelling my voter registration? Besides, when was the last time you could get five of your friends to agree on watching the same film at the local cinema? Isn’t reformism supposed to be practical?

It would appear to be the case that the first 200 some odd pages of this book is really just Wolf advocating for a vision of what I can only tell might be socially democratic populism. Nothing about the market, even less about economics, just a whirligig about the need to rescue democracy from “the corporations,” or something to that effect, I couldn’t quite tell. No wonder Lew Rockwell referred to her as an “ex-progressive,” who has allegedly become “libertarian-leaning,” back in 2010.

Regarding this sequel being an actual handbook, Wolf’s methodology is crowd-sourced, but she seems to imply that the listed techniques are somehow all equally valid. This presumption is rooted in the “throw spaghetti at a wall and see what sticks” method, which she appears to do, considering she also fails to distinguish between the political and economic means of making money! The sheer lack of follow up as to the efficacy of each technique is what I expected though, because there is not supposed to be; you are not allowed to evaluate or judge anything practically, since to do so would be to become a “scab” by failing to tow the party line. And so, statism, and its ugly buck-toothed cousin, reformism, carry on with their tyrannical designs.

Let me distinguish between what I think are the political (reformist) means and the economic (direct action) means that Wolf lists in her book. First up, reformism:

Obviously, recall elections are just as bad as initiatives and referenda, democracy commandos are grassroots lobbyists, and aren’t non-profits part of “the corporations” themselves, which I thought Wolf was vehemently against, unless I’m mistaken? Now, by contrast, here are some activities that just might count as direct action:

  • Writing press releases
  • Whistleblowing (includes FOIA & the 1974 Privacy Act)
  • Blogging
  • Videography
  • Boycotting
  • Meetings & lectures
  • Hearings (includes conventions & festivals, such as the Jackalope Freedom Festival)
  • Shareholder activism

As you can now doubt tell, the very best that Wolf has to offer is essentially the alternative media, but considering my concerns over the years, I think Wolf’s recommendations about Internet media have played themselves out, for the most part, whether for good or bad. With whatever it might be worth to you all, I think that shareholder activism is a rarely used method, which is likely to be quite powerful, if given half a chance.

Naomi Wolf’s Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries is quite lackadaisical in giving any serious contemplation to how best get “from here to there.” There is no mention of forming Committees of Safety, or even militia units, much less any coherent sense of real strategy. Needless to say, until people start questioning aspiring politicians, then reformists will stubbornly refuse to abandon the ballot box, plain and simple. I think what this book really illustrates is that counter-productive “solutions,” like state nullification, ought to trashed into the dustbin of history, alongside worn out polemics about “democracy.” To further upstage Naomi Wolf in just a few words, I’d like to recommend y’all begin role-playing police interrogations, as well as implementing your own security culture, if you genuinely care about exercising your natural liberty.

Posted in Literature Reviews | Leave a comment

What Has Been Achieved Since 2014?

[Download a PDF of this article]

If you have not yet read What Has Been Achieved?,” andWhat Has Been Achieved Since 2013?,” then please do so now before continuing, otherwise this article will probably make not any sense to you, because it is a developing stream of thought that picks up immediately from my previous Independence Day article.

 

 

Newest electoral data between 2012 – 2014 is now available, in addition to the 2000 – 2012 voter data sets. Electoral patterns in both Travis and Williamson counties are steadily growing, as are the eligible voter pools. My observation that voter turnout is always less than half the total county population seems to be still true.

Electoral lurkers are defined as non-voting registered voters; eligible nonregistered voters (which includes the narrowed descriptor, “qualified voter”) are considered to be “noncompliant.” These electoral lurkers and the noncompliant have grown between 2012 – 2014, yet, the noncompliant have grown faster in Travis since 2000, whereas the electoral lurkers have grown faster in Williamson during the same period (2000 – 2014). These observations could be skewed by mid-term elections; however, the results thus far appear to mimic population growth, and not necessarily a revoking of one’s consent to be governed by cancelling their voter registration, or otherwise refusing to register to vote in the first place. I won’t know for certain whether there is any correlation, much less causation, between these variables until noticeably well after the Tyrant-in-Chief has been replaced by his successor in 2016.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has conducted yet another survey about the wonderfulness of what they are now calling, “economic inclusion,” which is defined by the FDIC thusly:

 

“Economic inclusion is a term used to describe a variety of public and private efforts aimed at bringing underserved consumers into the financial mainstream. In the U.S., there are a number of partnerships and initiatives focused not only on expanding the availability of safe, affordable financial products and services, but also on education [educating?] consumers about ways to become fully integrated into the banking system.”

 

Apparently, the 2008 banker bailouts didn’t phase the FDIC one bit as to the viability of central banking itself, but let’s continue on, shall we? This past survey in 2013 reveals that the fully banked have dropped by 1.8%, the underbanked have dropped by 0.1%, and the unbanked have dropped by 0.5%, since the previous survey in 2011. More importantly, between the first survey in 2009 to 2013, the fully banked have dropped by 3.3%, the underbanked rose by 2.1%, and the unbanked have remain unchanged.

So, what does this mean, about the viability of the Big Banks? Right off the cuff, I think what the relationship between the percentages mean is that confidence in the legacy banking system might be eroding, but rather than abandoning their bank accounts wholesale, those surveyed are using alternative financial services (AFS). As a side note, the unbanked rely more upon prepaid debit cards than the fully banked or even underbanked; between 2009 – 2013, the unbanked’s use of prepaid debit cards has increased by 14.9%.

Interestingly enough, this past FDIC survey gives us some insight as to the potential causation regarding the drop in the fully banked alongside the concomitant rise in the underbanked. In a brand new table, as the top main reasons for why survey respondents were unbanked, 26.4% said it was due to privacy concerns, 30.8% said that the account fees were too high or otherwise unpredictable, 34.2% said they don’t like dealing with banks or otherwise just didn’t trust bankers, and 57.5% said they didn’t have enough money to have a bank account in the first place. Might this be a sign that administrative agency “regulations” against what would be free banking is the cause for why some people are unbanked, namely, because of government failure?

Speaking of government failure, the national debt has been increased by $12,371,009,000,000 over the past 15 years, between 2000 – 2015. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) stubbornly refuses to raise interest rates, because apparently they’d prefer to cause malinvestment by supposedly maintaining the annual rate of inflation at 2% through keeping the federal funds rate artificially suppressed at 0 – 0.25%. Despite the allegedly good intentions of the FOMC, unemployment has increased by 1.7% over the past 15 years, between 20002015. Last time I checked, today’s national debt, unemployment figures, and malinvestment signals were not due to the often scape-goated, “market failure.”

In terms of real world commodities, the spot price of crude oil has doubled over the past 15 years, between 2000 – 2015. Gold bullion’s spot price has risen by $901.30 during the same time period (20002015); likewise, silver bullion’s spot price has risen by $10.44 as well (20002015). Today’s spot price for a barrel of crude oil is $56.93, for a ounce of gold is $1,169.67, and for an ounce of silver is $15.69 (according to Veldt Gold, formerly known as Agora Commodities).

I have previously mentioned that between 1995 – 2010, food loss was increased by 37,000,000,000 pounds (5%) during a simultaneous food production increase by 74,000,000,000 pounds (20.7%); remember that’s only edible food wastage. Compare this with the increase of 13,683,000 more people on food stamps between FY 1995 – 2010, not to mention anything of the additional 1,827,000 people on food stamps between FY 2011 – 2014. Don’t you think it might just be time to teach people about the benefits of dumpster diving, food storage, and guerrilla gardening before the EBT cards stop working, as they did back in October of 2013 during the last government shutdown, especially because of the flaws inherent in the cashless society?

Urbanization has permanently changed the landscape of America. As the U.S. Census Bureau admitted over three years ago:

 

“The nation’s urban population increased by 12.1 percent from 2000 to 2010, outpacing the nation’s overall growth rate of 9.7 percent for the same period, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Census Bureau released the new list of urban areas today based on 2010 Census results.

“Urban areas — defined as densely developed residential, commercial and other nonresidential areas — now account for 80.7 percent of the U.S. population, up from 79.0 percent in 2000. Although the rural population — the population in any areas outside of those classified as ‘urban’ — grew by a modest amount from 2000 to 2010, it continued to decline as a percentage of the national population.”

 

Let me add some more figures onto that: between 2000 – 2010, there were 27,323,632 more Americans; of those, only 430,900 of them live in rural areas (this means that there are 26,892,732 more urban Americans). It’s more than far to say that as the population expands, urbanization is far outstripping rural folks by quite a bit. According to the CIA World Fact Book, 81.4% of the total American population in 2014 is now urbanized. If the annual rate of urbanization, 1.02% (2010 – 2015 estimate), remains at a constant increase, then the domestic American population will become 87.5% urbanized by 2020.

This is particularly disconcerting to me because governments have noticeably more enforcement power whenever humans are in closer proximity to each other. Might this be part of the overall “wake up call” that it’s time to live off-grid? Call me a Loonie, but isn’t dependency on the government’s “public infrastructure” detrimental to our common liberty?

To my knowledge, the six Committees of Safety I listed last year are still active, but to what degree they are, or what they are currently working on, I am ignorant of, quite frankly. I also have no reason to suspect that the patriot faction has established any more Committees of Safety since my previous Independence Day article. Obviously, this also begs the question as their commitment to making The Plan for the Restoration of Constitutional Government actually happen. Time will tell, I suppose.

Meanwhile, I shouldn’t be too hard on the American patriots, because the dispute resolution organizations that the voluntaryists claim they are supportive of, have failed to materialize, as of yet (unless you count Shield Mutual, which, truth be told, was more of a freelance public relations firm than a DRO). Similarly, the worker’s councils of the syndicalists have likewise failed to come about, for some unknown reason. For all of their rhetoric about wanting to manifest a stateless society, syndicalists and voluntaryists both are falling behind the minarchists, at least in terms of organizing.

Speaking of organizing, we can all learn from Gary Hunt on how to ostracize an undesirable malcontent. His series of articles on the infamous Mark Kessler provides a lesson for us all to emulate, particularly with regards to targeting. The four part series is as follows:

  1. A Checkered Past
  2. Recent Past
  3. The “Screw” Turns
  4. Coming Out of the Closet

Additionally, I’d recommend y’all read the full report on that miserable thief of valor, Christopher Bylstone, and then contrast that with the vindication of Ryan Payne. If nothing else, I’d hope you’ll all learn how to do some real investigative journalism in order to discover the truth behind the actions of certain individuals who are harming others; it’s also good preparation for vetting potential recruits.

What has been achieved since 2014? Electoral lurkers have grown faster in Williamson County, whereas the noncompliant have done so quicker in Travis County; but then again, this might be due to the mid-term election slump rather than being indicative of men and women pulling away from the State. Instead of closing their bank accounts right away, bank customers are using more AFSs, and the unbanked’s use of prepaid debit cards is steadily increasing; we now know that at least some of the reasons behind this include significant lacks of both customer privacy and trust in bankers. Bank Secrecy Act, much?

The national debt has increased exponentially, unemployment has increased slightly, and the FOMC still encourages malinvestment. Spot prices for gold and silver bullion have substantially increased, the spot price for a barrel of crude oil has doubled over the past 15 years, and millions of more people are now on food stamps, despite increased availability of edible dumpstered foods. Millions of people have moved to the cities and suburbia, the American patriots have neglected to establish more Committees of Safety, and the various anarchists haven’t even gotten serious about organizing much of anything locally, from what I can tell (unless you also count Liberate RVA, Free Keene, Free Concord, and Free Manchester, but again, those aren’t DROs, since they’re sort of a cross between a media outlet and a social club).

Besides vindicating the innocent and publicly humiliating the guilty, what else can be done in the meantime for the cause of liberty? I’d suggest you peruse this updated version of my recommendations from last year:

So, this freedom holiday, understand that you all have less than no excuses if you claim to value human liberty enough to actually manifest it. I’ve done what I can thus far in order to reduce your opportunity costs. The rest is up to you.

Posted in Dissident Methodology | Leave a comment

The End of America?

Cartoon politics is far too common, often because people intuitively feel that something is notoriously wrong, but they just can’t quite articulate their grievances. Since this is in fact the case for most American political dissidents, what necessarily follows are numerous petitions to the State listing their grievances, which are never redressed by the political rulership. Rarely is it the case where someone is able to distinguish the petty grievances from the serious tyranny infringing upon our common bedrock of individual liberty.

 

 

This author’s thesis contains two parts. First, she says there are ten steps, a blueprint if you will, that every tyrant and despot follows whenever they are in the process of closing down a (formerly) open society. Second, all ten of those steps have been fulfilled here in the United Police States of America. Her ten easy steps to tyranny are as follows:

  1. Invoke an external & internal threat
  2. Establish secret prisons
  3. Develop a paramilitary force
  4. Surveil ordinary citizens
  5. Infiltrate citizens’ groups
  6. Arbitrarily detain & release citizens
  7. Target key individuals
  8. Restrict the press
  9. Cast criticism as espionage & dissent as reason
  10. Subvert the rule of law

For the remainder of this literary review, I’d like to examine each one briefly by comparing the examples Naomi Wolf uses to other ones I have blogged about in years since.

Hyping the non-existent threat by Al-CIA-da to Americans, the Bush, Jr. White House scared the living bejesus out of everybody following the events of 9/11. Wolf is correct in saying that “terrorism” was the excuse used for a massive power grab by the federal government, and that Muslims, as well as Arabs more generally, were scapegoated as being somehowcollectively responsible” for the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York City. Neo-con theory by Carl Schmitt says that you must have an enemy image by which to hold the entire society together; every facet, from industry, to media, to the arts, to academia, to social life in general, is essentially held together by what Webster Tarpley called “a monstrous myth.”

Although I certainly agree with Wolf that the U.S. military’s entire death cult atmosphere at Guantanamo Bay is nothing short of repulsive (and is still ongoing, even today), I would suggest that why should the rest of us worry about being extraordinarily renditioned and tortured at some CIA black site, when such activities are performed here domestically as normal, pseudo-transparent daily procedure? How is KC Massey’s arbitrary incarceration, in solitary confinement for two weeks no less, nothing to write home about, especially considering he has not been convicted of anything? Was Jim Hogshire exaggerating when he described the politics of prison rape? While everyone and their uncle in the corporate and even alternative media were waxing eloquent about the truly horrific abuses foreigners are experiencing at the hands of the U.S. military, what about the equally nasty treatment received by American citizens at the hands of the criminal injustice system? Isn’t the latter more of a tyranny that strikes just a little too close to home?

For all of the abuses Blackwater and the other modern-day Hessians have committed, I find it rather telling that Wolf completely neglected to mention the violently coercive monopoly known as government policing. Not only is it thoroughly unconstitutional, but they are militarized jackboots who have committed democide against 5,000 Americans since 9/11. Despite the fact that a Belgian economist debunked the whole notion of government policing over 150 years ago, and more importantly, offered a vision for truly free market security services as his solution, statists have nevertheless insisted that the “price” of freedom necessarily requires the sacrifice of citizens upon the altar of the State.

While it is true that authoritarian governments engage in disrupting the activities of the citizenry, this is nothing new here in America. Dragnet wiretapping and chilling dissent is routine and normal, and the social justice warriors might as well be the blackshirts and brownshirts of last century. The arbitrary detention and release of citizens, as Wolf puts it, could easily be applicable to those who suffer from police interrogations, whether it be in the context of a traffic stop, a house raid, or an airport screening.

Depending on whom one may consider to be “key individuals,” I think the American political prisoners could fill the bill. Let’s examine a selection:

  • The Hutarees were made an example of, despite getting acquitted, because the federal government can’t afford the citizenry arming up and training collaboratively in how to use those arms against their democidally statist enemies.
  • Darren Huff, for the victimless crime of traveling on the roads while carrying his own private property across state lines, was sentenced to 4 years in prison, and he was subsequently released last April 15th.
  • Larry Myershabeas corpus ad subjiciendum was denied by the United States Supreme Court, twice. For the “crime” of mailing some strongly worded letters to some judges for being tyrannical, Myers is rotting away in a government dungeon until his release sometime in 2019.
  • Robert Beecher took a plea deal in order to spare his daughter Jessica from prosecution, and as a result, he is currently serving a 10-year sentence, and if he survives, he is expected to be released sometime in 2025.
  • Ross Ulbricht, for the victimless crime of providing a market service for customers to safely trade in illicit narcotics, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole; this means he is expected to rot away for the rest of his life in a government dungeon.

Similar to these folks, except for the fact that neither of them were ever charged by the government for anything, are Chris Broughton and Debra Medina. The demonization of both, by both the corporate and alternative media, just goes to show that Americans are not allowed to have authentic heroes and heroines, because to do so would be for the State to tacitly acknowledge the bravery of colonial-era women like Sarah Tarrant and Captain Prudence Wright. Needless to say, I think Wolf using the cancellation of Bill Maher’s lame Politically Incorrect statist propaganda as some bastion of freedom is, quite frankly, laughable.

Certainly the harassment Josh Wolf (no relation to Naomi) was unconstitutional, as well as Amy Goodman getting arrested while covering the street demonstrations protesting the 2008 GOP national convention, I’d worry more about hate speech censorship laws being used against libertarian opponents of the Free State Project. With the sheer regularity that Texans are snitching to the gendarmiere whenever the Open Carry Texas membership go on their open carry walks, I wouldn’t be surprised if the police started confiscating the tapes of said encounters whenever they get a democidal urge, like they had wanted to do when a few of them murdered Eric Garner last year. Remember, the penalty for resistance, or even disobedience, is always death.

If stolen elections and the Bush White House declaring that the entire planet is a battlefield in the hoax that is the “Global War on Terror” are what Naomi Wolf claims is what subverts the rule of law, then apparently she is ignorant about how the 14th Amendment’s incorporation doctrine is used as an end run around the 10th Amendment, and by extension, state citizenship. Worse, how about when the American Bar Association drafted the Administrative Procedures Act in 1944 that Senator Patrick McCarran admitted when it was passed two years later, after the Second World War, was the unilateral creation of a brand new fourth branch of government, namely, the bureaucratic Administrative Agencies? As Fred Rodell put it, the law is a racket!

Before I address what Wolf suggested that this “young patriot” she addressed in her book should be doing, I’d like to offer a few observations regarding expressing grievances. Although some of Wolf’s grievances are rather serious, I hate to say that relative to the ones I’ve written about in more recent years, they seem rather tame. While her use of historical comparisons is good, yet, I wished she bothered to mention the democide those same regimes used, because that is the inevitable end of statism. If anything, what’s most valuable about Wolf’s book is that it demonstrates just how deteriorated personal liberty has become in this sad excuse for a country.

What Wolf essentially recommends to “Chris,” the young patriot in question, is for him to not have any secrets, simply because his dissent might become chilled if he were ever blackmailed; in other words, he should expose his darkest, most intimately personal secrets with his spouse, family, and possibly colleagues in order to not be cunningly coerced into silence. I think a better remedy for those who chose, as a matter of conscience, to express their grievances publicly, is to also exercise their right to privacy, to the extent that they realistically can, through good security culture. If it’s good enough to keep the monkey-wrenchers out of prison, then it’s good enough for me and you who aren’t violating mala prohibita, if we care enough about personal privacy as a matter of principle. As with the rest of our natural liberties, use it or lose it!

Naomi Wolf’s The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot is a snapshot in time before the rise of the Tea Partiers and the later Occupy Wall Street reformists. Considering how the patriot faction has now ostracized David Stone, Ryan Payne, and KC Massey, I’d say America has already ended, in any real way that matters. Let’s get real for a moment about something, shall we? Any idea of “America” died a long time ago with the banishment of classically liberal American republicanism, and seeing through the fog of illusion entails a phase upon where one understands what never was, and never will be. No amount of documentaries is going to make up for the fact that Naomi Wolf is no Wendy McElroy. While it was good that Wolf mentioned that Obama continued the Bush Doctrine, again, her continued expression of her grievances, as she did during the New Hampshire Liberty Forum last year in 2014, is little else than the reformist echo chamber.

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